Bee Endorses Krovoza and Swanson for Davis City Council

rochelle-swansonThe Bee in the first major endorsement in the Davis City Council race has opted to endorse Joe Krovoza and Rochelle Swanson.  Do endorsements really matter some may ask?  Probably not.  Two years ago, the Bee ended up endorsing Don Saylor, Sue Greenwald, and Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald over incumbent Stephen Souza and Souza still finished second in the race.  Nevertheless, it may or may not be meaningful that the Bee chose Ms. Swanson over Sydney Vergis.  Time will tell.

Usually these editorials are seen as reason to tell Davis that it needs to have faster growth.  However, while Measure R (the renewal of Measure J) has been present in this campaign, growth has not been a huge issue.  In part this is due to the economy and the real estate market.  In part it is due to the dominance of the budget and fiscal issues.

The Bee for the first time really does not mention the growth issue, although it still lands a blow against Davis writing, “The city of Davis has much going for it – strong public schools, a world-class public university and informed residents who care about civic affairs.”

At the same time, they argue the city could be so much more if its city council weren’t well, so silly, “Part of Davis’ problem is that its City Council too often loses focus and can become downright silly.”

The good news apparently is that Davis has two candidates that can “change the tenor of their council.”  Those two are Joe Krovoza and Rochelle Swanson.

The rest of the column focuses on why Mr. Krovoza and Ms. Swanson are right for Davis.  Briefly they mention Davis’ budget challenges, “With her background in business and law, Swanson could help address Davis’ budget challenges and assist city officials in renegotiating contracts with employee unions. She promises to make this a priority, along with affordable housing for working families.”

They also mention Picnic Day quite a bit.

“Lately, the city has focused on Picnic Day, the university’s annual spring open house. The event has become marred by excessive drinking and criminal activity, and there is talk of canceling it. If Picnic Day continues, the university, the city, and tavern and other business owners are going to have to find ways to control it.

Krovoza, who works at UC Davis, would help bring about closer town-gown ties. He has advocated declaring Picnic Day “dry.” An alcohol ban would be difficult to enforce, but the point is clear. The event must change.

Swanson’s husband owns the Graduate, a restaurant-bar that joined with other bars by selling alcohol at 6 a.m. on Picnic Day. The Graduate since announced it would forgo alcohol sales until 11 a.m. on future Picnic Days. That’s a half-measure, but it’s a start.”

Obviously the interviews by the editorial board must have occurred right after Picnic Day, which while an issue, is not really the issue that Davis should decide who leads it.

They briefly mention Krovoza’s back ground as an attorney, his work on Putah Creek and his advocacy of bicycles.

“Krovoza, an attorney, helped negotiate with local governments to increase flows to Putah Creek,  which helped restore salmon runs.

Krovoza envisions making Davis even more friendly to bicycles, and advocates finding ways to increase housing through infill rather than sprawl, which destroys prime agricultural land.”

And that’s it.  “Swanson and Krovoza,” they write, “have clear views of Davis’ needs and would provide steady hands on a council that too often has become mired in trivia.”

The burning issues that face Davis these days are not that dissimilar from the rest of the region, how to balance the local budget as the state continues to raid its resources.  How to get the costs of labor under control while fixing a runaway unfunded retirement liability in health care and pensions.  How to continue to provide core services in a time of dwindling resources.

We may not agree with how the council has tackled these issues, but these are the issues that they have tackled by and large the past two years and into the wee hours of last night.

—David M. Greenwald


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Doug Minnis

    I agree with the Bee on their endorsement of Swanson and Krovoza. I like both Swanson and Krovoza. I think they promise intelligence and civility on the council Neither has a hint of arrogance. In addition, I see no special inerest support. They can take office without debt to any others than the community that elected them. They are as good or better candidates than we have had in Davis for sometime. It is timely that we have such talented people willing to serve Davis when we have such large civic tasks ahead of us. A thoughtful and dedicated council will go a long way to a rational consideration of community issues.

  2. rusty49

    I like Swanson and Krovoza too. I’d like to know more about their views on growth, ecspecially peripheral growth. But at this point anyone is better than Sydney Vergis.

  3. wdf1

    The Bee for the first time really does not mention the growth issue, although it still lands a blow against Davis writing, “The city of Davis has much going for it – strong public schools, a world-class public university and informed residents who care about civic affairs.”

    And in today’s Bee, Marcus Breton used his column to bash Davis — stuck up out-of-touch liberals, etc.

    Marcos Breton: Stuck-up Davis takes itself down a few pegs


    So, how would you take this? Sour grapes on his part? A chance for a teachable moment for us clueless residents? Maybe he was short on topics when he had to write something?

  4. rusty49


    Articles like that are exactly why I cancelled the Bee. Talk about taking a few isolated incidents and painting all of Davis with a broad brush. This guy Breton sounds like he has a major chip on his shoulder.
    I think all Davisites should call the Bee and cancel, that would send them a message.

  5. Greg Kuperberg

    I prefer Joe Krovoza and Sydney Vergis. I think that it’s very important to work with the city staff and not against it, and I think that Krovoza and Vergis are the best suited to do so. I also think that they are less likely to get distracted by expensive, big-publicity projects such as the high school stadium. It’s always more important in public service to take care of the details than to leap to the front of a big parade.

    That said, I think that Rochelle Swanson would also be a reasonable choice for city council. I might even agree with her more on certain points than with Krovoza or Vergis. But what I can say is that I have not seen any endorsement at all from Swanson of David’s statement “services have been cut to the bone”. On the contrary, some of her remarks seem to suggest that services could and should be cut to save money.

    This is actually why I think that Swanson is relatively trustworthy. I don’t think that she would do what Lamar Heystek did: Throw a budget back at Paul Navazio to demand both fewer service cuts and more spending cuts. Swanson may be a Republican, but not a square peg, round hole Republican.

  6. Tim Fenton

    David Greenwald,

    This past Friday I sent the following letter to the editor of the Enterprise. I should have sent it to you as well. My apologies.

    To the editor,
    The Davis Enterprise

    May 12, 2010

    At it’s meeting on Wednesday evening, May 5, the Board of Directors of the Davis Democratic Club voted unanimously to endorse Joe Krovoza for election to the Davis City Council in the June 8, 2010 election. Based on Joe’s experience as a lawyer championing issues important to Davis, his leadership in helping create a safe environment for cycling in Davis and coaching youth sports, and his other public service, and his wealth of bright, practical ideas for making Davis a better place to live, the board believes he is the most qualified candidate seeking election to the Council. We believe his mature, affable and confident personality will be an asset in moving the important business of our city forward. We urge Davis voters to join us in voting for Joe Krovoza on June 8.

    The Board of Directors of
    The Davis Democratic Club

    I am the recently named publicity chair of the Davis Democratic Club. I am also a newly registered (today) at the Vanguard, though I’ve been getting the daily email for a while.

  7. SourGrapes

    Seems like this tired acrimony aimed at vergis is a bit odd given what I remember of Joe’s past and very public support of CV; and Rochelle, a known Republican, whose few endorsers include Jerry Adler, known for his anti-J feelings. But I guess is vergis’s fault for having run against the wife of this blogger.

  8. rusty49

    “Rochelle, a known Republican”

    Oh no, not that, say it’s not true, a Republican?
    How dare she run in this liberal town?
    You’d think she had leprosy or something.

  9. Greg Kuperberg

    rusty49: I think that you have a point. I think that Republican objectives sometimes sit perfectly well with Davis voters, or at least a certain faction of Davis voters, as long as they’re called “progressive”.

  10. davisite2

    Vergis appears to be crumbling under the close scrutiny that she is receiving. Her calculated but “thin” resume building over the past 2 years is transparent and her public statements and public bearing lack a sense of authenticity and spontaneity. In spite of her set-up visual TV ads depicting her as experienced, focused and confident, her “live performances” are quite without a sense of genuine gravitas.

  11. Daniel


    For the record, Rochelle is registered as “Decline to State.” I’m not sure why her party registration matters so much to you. What are you afraid a “Republican” city council member would do, anyway? Would she send the imaginary City of Davis military to invade Iran?

    And as for her “few” endorsements, they include:
    Delaine Eastin – Former California Superintendent of Public Instruction
    Cass Sylvia – Yolo County Public Guardian
    Jim Provenza – Yolo County Supervisor
    Matt Rexroad – Yolo County Supervisor
    Don Saylor – Mayor Pro Tem, City of Davis
    Tim Taylor – President, School Board
    Gina Daleiden – Davis School Board Trustee
    Richard Harris – Davis School Board Trustee
    Sheila Allen – Davis School Board Trustee
    James Hammond – Superintendent DJUSD
    Jerry Adler – Former Mayor, City of Davis
    Bill Kopper – Former Mayor, City of Davis
    Ann Evans – Former Mayor, City of Davis
    Ted Puntillo – Former Mayor, City of Davis
    Mike Harrington – Former Council Member, City of Davis

    Harrington, incidentally, is about as far from a Republican as you can get:

  12. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]For the record, Rochelle is registered as “Decline to State.”[/i]

    Registered or not, her LinkedIn page endorsed McCain-Palin until recently.

    [i]What are you afraid a “Republican” city council member would do, anyway?[/i]

    I’m not necessarily afraid, but such a city council member might: (a) try to do to city unions what Reagan did to PATCO, (b) try to shrink government in general, and/or (c) favor big-box retail and wireless towers.

    [i]Harrington, incidentally, is about as far from a Republican as you can get[/i]

    But maybe not really, if the political spectrum is actually a circle.

  13. rusty49

    “try to do to city unions what Reagan did to PATCO, (b) try to shrink government in general”

    Sounds like what Davis could use right about now.

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